After the Axe the Reading Tax campaign successfully lobbied the Government to get rid of the 20% VAT on ebooks, it is now calling for an end to the same tax on audiobooks.

Earlier this year, ALCS joined other creative organisations in the successful Axe the Reading Tax campaign, which sought to end the 20% VAT on ebooks to bring them in line with their paper counterparts. As of 1 May 2020, the Government has removed this tax from ebooks.

However, there is still work to do on the taxing of reading and learning, as VAT still applies to audiobooks. New research from the National Literacy Trust has shown that 7 in 10 children find it easier to understand the content of a book if they listen to it in audiobook form. What’s more, half of the children and young people surveyed say that listening to audiobooks has increased their interest in reading during lockdown, and 2 in 5 say that it has made them more interested in writing. So the tax on audiobooks could have a negative impact on children’s reading and literacy learning, as well as their ability to read for pleasure.

As a result, we’re urging ALCS members to get involved in the Axe the Reading Tax campaign again and write to their MP to ask them to take action on the taxing of audiobooks.

To find out more and to take part, visit